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Wellington RC 18 March 2017 - R 8 - Chair, Mrs N Moffatt

Created on 20 March 2017

Rules:
638(1)(d)
Committee:
NMoffatt (chair)
PWilliams
Name(s):
Mr C Lammas - Licensed Rider
Mr N Goodwin - Stipendiary Steward
Informant
Mr M Williamson - Senior Stipendiary Steward
Information Number
A8533
Plea:
Admitted
Charge:
Careless Riding
Evidence:

Following the running of Race 8 (Wellfield New Zealand Oaks), an Information was lodged by Mr M Williamson alleging a breach of Rule 638(1) (d) in that “Cameron Lammas (FASHIONABLY) shifted out when not clear of DAME MARGO FONTEYN, J Parkes, which was dictated into the line of DATE NIGHT which was forced into the line of RUBE BRIDGES (D Johnson) which fell.”

Rule 638(1) (d) provides: A Rider shall not ride a horse in a manner which the Judicial Committee considers to be careless.

Mr Lammas confirmed to the Committee that he understood the charge and admitted the breach but did not require the rule to be read out.

Mr Goodwin used the films to identify all the runners involved and explain the incident. Approaching the 900m mark Mr Lammas was racing in a position approximately three back adjacent to the running rail. The field was racing very tightly with little room for error. Mr Lammas moved off the rail and into the line of Mr Parkes who was forced out into the line of Ms Allpress on DATE NIGHT. Ms D Johnson was following DATE NIGHT and clipped that horse’s heels bringing her horse, RUBE BRIDGES, down. Mr McNab (INCANTESIMO) was following and, unable to avoid the fallen runner, he too fell.

Mr Lammas said that he hadn’t moved out a lot, maybe half a horse width. He had thought he was clear of Mr Parkes behind him but Mr Parkes had been pushing his mount up. Mr Lammas said he had made an error of judgement by coming out more than he intended to.

Decision:

As Mr Lammas admitted the breach we found the charge proved.

Submission For Penalty:

Mr Williamson produced Mr Lammas’ riding record which showed four previous careless riding charges in the last 12 months. He said Mr Lammas was a reasonably busy rider and this record was a little worse than average for the number of rides he has.

Mr Williamson said there were a lot of factors that contributed to the incident today. The horses were racing in particularly tight quarters and although Mr Lammas’ shift outwards was not large the consequences of his actions resulted in two horses being taken out of the race. He said the riders and horses were not seriously hurt but the two runners that fell had their hopes extinguished in a Group 1 premier race.

Mr Williamson accessed the RIU database and read out a comprehensive list of other charges where careless riding had resulted in falls. Over a 2 ½ year period penalties ranged from 6 days to 18 days. The case with the most similarities to todays was Mr C Grylls' suspension of 18 days following a Group 2 race on 1 January 2015 at Ellerslie.

The Stewards' submission for Mr Lammas was for a period of suspension of no less than 1 month.

Mr Lammas reiterated that he thought his degree of carelessness was low and that nine times out of ten his outward shift would have had no consequences to other riders. He advised of riding engagements through until next Saturday and requested a deferment of any suspension. 

Reasons For Penalty:

The Committee took into account all of the submissions presented including Mr Lammas’ admission of the breach. The penalty guide for Judicial Committees allows for a five day starting point for careless riding. We have adjusted this upwards substantially due to the fact that two runners were brought down. A significant aggravating factor was the stake and status of today’s race. The NZ Oaks is a Group 1 race and the prestige race for fillies in New Zealand. The connections of RUBE BRIDGES and INCANTESIMO were denied any opportunity of earning both stake money and valuable black type status for their fillies.

The films showed Mr Lammas with a rails run prior to the incident and then approximately three wide when the incident unfolded. We accept that the field was racing very tightly but believe this should have made Mr Lammas more cautious about moving off the rail. We heard evidence from Mr Goodwin that Mr Lammas was only one length clear of Mr Parkes when he took that runner's line. The films clearly showed Mr Parkes in restrictive room having to restrain his mount. There followed a catalyst effect culminating in Ms Johnson clipping heels and falling followed by Mr McNab. We placed the degree of carelessness in the midrange.

Mr Lammas’ riding record did not afford him any reduction in penalty.

We also had regard to previous cases where falls had occurred in particular that of Mr Grylls which had similar elements. His careless riding resulted in two horses falling in a Group 2 race and he received an 18 day suspension.

Taking into account all of these factors it was our opinion that a five week suspension was an appropriate penalty.

Penalty:

Mr Lammas is suspended from the close of racing on Saturday March 25th up to and including racing on Saturday April 29th. We heard evidence that Mr Lammas rides throughout both Northern and Central Districts therefore we calculated this time frame to include 18 race days. We did not include Waipa (5/4/17) due to this being an apprentice only day.

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